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Shakespeare's NatureFrom Cultivation to Culture$
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Charlotte Scott

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199685080

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199685080.001.0001

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Prospero’s Husbandry and the Cultivation of Anxiety

Prospero’s Husbandry and the Cultivation of Anxiety

(p.187) 6 Prospero’s Husbandry and the Cultivation of Anxiety
Shakespeare's Nature

Charlotte Scott

Oxford University Press

The final chapter, which focuses on Shakespeare’s last single authored play, examines Prospero’s husbandry within the context of the island space. Contrary to colonial discourses of the play, this chapter argues that the island remains radically uncultivated – ‘bare’ ‘uninhabitable’ and ‘barren’, there is little here that bears the mark of human, or even non-human, intervention. Against this hostile landscape, The Tempest offers two alternative visions of nature, Prospero’s masque and Gonzalo’s plantation: both are fantasies and both expose the value of human intervention in the production of social codes. Exploring the divergent choreographies of these landscapes, this chapter identifies the some of the major preoccupations of the period – enclosures, waged labour, ritual, and the images of possession.

Keywords:   The Tempest, colonisation, landscape, nature, intervention, enclosure, labour, plantation

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